INBOUND 2020: Brainstorm’s Key Takeaway’s from HubSpot’s Virtual Conference

Leave it to the best digital marketing conference out there to take a massive in-person event (over 20,000 attendees annually) and turn it into a fully engaging and totally digital experience. Okay, maybe it wasn’t by choice, but HubSpot’s INBOUND 20 (held last week) showed why this conference has become THE must-attend event for marketing professionals looking for the latest innovations, actionable tactics and big ideas in automated marketing and sales.

Brainstorm was there as usual (our fifth trip), and while we attended this year’s main stage presentations, breakout sessions and meetups from our living rooms (and possibly in our sweatpants), the content was no less illuminating, with guest speakers including John Legend, Disney’s Bob Iger, actress/director Kerry Washington and more. Here are some of our favorite sessions and takeaways from the loaded two-day event.

 John McHugh, President

The Definitive Guide to Content That Sells: 7 Essential Steps to Massive Results and ROI  

Marcus Sheridan of IMPACT ran this session. His talks are always full at INBOUND. Luckily this year there was no limit on attendance! His session was based on the “7 Steps of Content Success.”

My favorite step was, number one: “Always start with a ‘sales first’ approach.” The majority of B2B companies are posting mainly top-of-the-funnel-content—the benefits of this, the advantages of that, etc. Even we do that in our blog, and it’s fine if you want to help educate people. But if you want real ROI from your content, Marcus recommends a bottom-up approach of creating only the content that your sales team would use in their sales process. For example, product comparisons, problems, reviews, “the best” and pricing. People searching for this type of content are further along in the buyer’s journey, and more likely to make a purchase in a shorter time period.

Genevieve Reilly, Social Media Manager

Advanced LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn Ads Expert AJ Wilcox led this session on the pitfalls and the advanced concepts you need to make the most of your LinkedIn ads.

What stood out to me were his chapters on the success of lead gen ads and how they convert 10-15% higher than sending someone to a landing page, and also his advice on analyzing click through rates and conversion rates to measure ad performance and adjust advertising strategies (whether that means updating your ad copy, art or landing page).

 Lauren Svoboda, Digital Strategist

Critical Email Marketing Techniques to Crush the Competition

In this really informative session, Worldata President and CEO Jay Schwedelson, examined data from over 40,000 email campaigns executed annually to show how email has changed in 2020. Stats that jumped out at me: Inbox activity has been up 22% since January 2020 and Mondays have turned into one of the best day to send (Fridays not so much). 

He also provided useful tips to increase open rates, from getting rid of unengaged contacts and becoming more aggressive in sending emails to using resources like to elevate your subject lines.

Doug Demagistris, Digital Strategist

How to Optimize Your Website Like a Pro 

Presented by Lukas Pleva of HubSpot, this session looked at steps you can take to optimize your website through HubSpot’s suite of tools.

 My biggest takeaways:

  1. You can have the best content out there and still fail if website user experience is poor. On the flip side, you can also fail if website user experience is excellent, but the content fails to provide value, solve a problem or match search intent.
  2. Now more than ever, traffic is coming from mobile devices. Therefore, it’s extremely important that webpages are mobile-friendly.
  3. Security, Reliability (speed/performance) and Content are the most important pillars to creating a landing page that both attracts visitors and converts them to customers.
  4. Content should always be kept up to date and be easy to read. Having lots of white space is not a bad thing. People also have really short attention spans so it’s important to keep it simple, have a narrow focus and not overwhelm or distract.

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